DELL Inspiron 4100 and Latitude D610

First of all this is not a fan or promotional site for DELL Laptops, or a rant about the best or worst laptop for travel. There are many laptops that qualify for traveling around the globe, this section just has some background info which laptops have actually been used.

DELL Inspiron 4100

Dell Inspiron 4100 LaptopSo what makes an Inspiron 4100 special for traveling. At the looks of the machine nothing much - although it's not that big and not so heavy to carry around. A closer look reveals a few things which makes the Inspiron stand out from other laptops. A travel essential details

  1. Touchpad, eliminating the use of a mouse
  2. Easy removable 2,5" IDE-PATA harddisk
  3. Double battery bay (replacing CD-RW drive)
  4. Runs on AC adapter without battery
  5. PCMCIA Cardbus slot for high Powered WIFI cards 
  6. Average 20 Watt power usage.
  7. 56k6 internal modem for remote regions with dial-in access only

The easy removable 2,5" IDE-PATA harddisk is a big advantage for quick crash recovery. Within a few minutes a different harddisk can be installed running a backup drive image of a crashed harddisk. Excellent for continuity and battling Windows instability.

The double battery extends working time upto 6-8 hours for light / moderate work. The extra battery is also charged when the AC adapter is connected, when 1 battery is full it switches over to the next. Additionally the laptop can be run on the AÇ adapter without any batteries installed.

Downsides of the Inspiron 4100

  1. No internal WIFI adapter
  2. No charge indicator on the batteries
  3. Maximum 512 Mb RAM
  4. Special 3-pin power jack
  5. USB 1.0
  6. Slow IR port

Dell Latitude D610

Dell Latitude D610 LaptopThe Latitude D610 is an average business laptop- really nothing special to write about. It has the following features essential for travel

  1. Touchpad eliminating the use of a mouse
  2. Easy removable 2,5" IDE-PATA harddisk
  3. Batteries with charge indicator
  4. Extra battery in CD/DVD modular bay
  5. Internal ABG WIFI adapter
  6. Runs on mains adapter without battery
  7. Bluetooth
  8. FastIR port
  9. Average 30 Watt power usage
  10. 2 memory card slots upto 2 Mb RAM
  11. 56k6 internal modem for remote regions with dial-in access only

Downsides of the Latitude D610

  1. Other chargers than DELL do not charge the batteries
  2. Sensitive CD/DVD-RW drives (read failures)
  3. PCMCIA cardbus slot too deep - collides with antenna jacks of high power WIFI cards
  4. Centrino WIFI adapter doesn't allow promiscuous mode
  5. No internal microphone
  6. History of mysterious boots

 The ideal travel laptop

Clearly the ideal laptop would be all of the above minus the downsides. Most likely this laptop is not in production so the summarize the absolute must haves:

  1. Normal power jack - to allow 3rd party chargers
  2. Easy removable SATA 2.5" harddisk drive
  3. Double battery slot
  4. PCMCIA cardbus for high powered WIFI cards with external antenna
  5. Internal ABGN high powered WIFI card with promiscuous mode
  6. Touchpad
  7. Runs on AC power adaptor without battery
  8. Batteries with charge indicator
  9. Fast IR port